Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recruiting, the good news

Pictures from the player's respective USHL and BCHL website

Five players have returned National Letters of Intent and will be joining the Wisconsin Badgers next Fall to start the 2009/10 season.

Those players are: Justin Schultz, Tyler Barnes, Derek Lee, Keegan Mauer and Craig Smith.

As Todd points out, Aaron Crandall was not part of this group. Well either was Brock Montpetit, but that is old news now. Aaron had the following to say.

Nothing to worry about, Aaron Crandall said.

"I'm just signing in April," Crandall said. "Everything's still on plan."

As for the five players who signed LOI, Coach Eaves had the following to say about each young man.

Eaves on Lee: “Derek is a very skilled offensive player. He has great vision of the ice and has the innate ability to make the plays that he sees.”

Eaves on Schultz: “Justin is a very fine offensive defenseman. We’ve had a few of them here recently. Much like Derek, when you talk about offensive guys, there are certain adjectives that stay the same. He moves very well, he sees the ice very well and he has the innate ability to make the plays that he sees. He’ll be a young man who will provide offense from the blue line.”

Eaves on Meuer: “Keegan is a heart-and-soul player. He is guy who you want to go into the fox hole with. He’ll come to battle every night. He’ll give the team energy. He understands what it takes to win and is willing to do whatever he can. He’ll bring the hard in bushels and he’ll bring the type of energy that is very much a part of a championship team.”

Eaves on Smith: “Craig will fall into the category of a power forward. He is a big lad who can really skate and brings a physical presence to the game, but he also some ability with the puck. His foundation, the way he plays comes from his speed and raw power.”

Eaves on Barnes: “Tyler is kind of a hybrid between Derek Lee and Craig Smith. He is a very competitive young man who doesn’t shy away from getting physical but he has a nice package of offensive skills. He is one of those guys who have that disease of being able to score. The puck finds him or he takes a shot and it goes in for him but not somebody else, so he brings a nice offensive package along with a real competitive edge.”

So some good news comes out of the recruiting side of things afterall. Having seen Meuer, Smith and Barnes play, I'm pretty excited for them to join the Badgers. Craig Smith is having the year a lot of fans were waiting for and he should be ready to contribute significantly next season. Schultz is the big name of the class as a 2nd round pick. I'm sure McBain or McDonagh will be leaving early, and he will be a nice replacement for them. Lee could be a special player for the Badgers.
Over at Hockey In Wisconsin, Dplaya sent an email to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and receiving some scouting back from their coach on recent recruit Mark Zengerle, Derek Lee and Menomonie native Justin Csester. The post includes a video of Zengerle.
Dplaya also has a post about Brock Montpetit w/ some interesting thoughts.